This may be the most important issue of Cancer Defeated we’ve ever published. The reason is that now – for the first time, really – there’s undeniable proof that the alternative cancer treatment community has been on the right track. The conventional approach to cancer treatment is wrong. And the proof emerges from the heart of the conventional scientific establishment, not from the fringes of alternative medicine.
If you read this article, you’ll understand for the first time what causes cancer, what you need to do about it for either prevention or cure, and why the hundreds of billions of dollars spent in the “war on cancer” have been largely wasted.
This is privileged, valuable information. If you read this, you’ll be among the few people who know about it. As far as I can tell, only a few alternative and integrative doctors realize that a revolution has now occurred. As for conventional oncologists, almost none of them realize the ground is crumbling under their feet.
No doubt it will take many years before mainstream medicine absorbs the implications of the new research and changes its way of doing things. You don’t want to wait for that because it may be too late for you.
The new revolution emanates from a book published two years ago called Cancer as a Metabolic Disease, written by Thomas N. Seyfried, PhD. Its 400 pages don’t make for easy reading, even if you’re a biochemist or a cell biologist, which most of us aren’t.
I’ve seen the book mentioned in just a few places. We first brought it to the attention of members of our “platinum club,” The Alternative Cancer Research Institute, late last year. I have to admit I didn’t grasp its full importance at the time.
Dr. Seyfried’s key finding is that mainstream scientists are mistaken in their theory of what causes cancer – and indeed what cancer is, in its essence. And they’re not just a little bit mistaken, they’re entirely wrong from top to bottom. Meanwhile, Dr. Seyfried largely confirms the theory of cancer causation held by most alternative cancer experts, although he tweaks the theory and takes it to a more refined level.
How cancer happens, according
to your conventional oncologist
The mainstream theory, which has held sway for more than 30 years, is that cancer is caused by genetic mutations – damage to the DNA. The damage may be caused by radiation, chemical toxins, heavy metals or other factors.
Whatever the origin, the damage changes the set of instructions that’s encoded in our DNA and tells our bodies how to operate. The damaged – mutated — cells cease to be “you” anymore. They become a sort of alien organism within you. They begin to divide uncontrollably; they live virtually forever instead of dying off naturally (apoptosis); they develop their own network of blood vessels (angiogenesis).
Now, you have to realize DNA is damaged all the time, without turning a cell cancerous, because in healthy DNA there are certain genes that repair the DNA strand when it’s damaged, and other genes that tell the cell it’s time to die after it’s been around for a while. Conventional experts believe that these specific genes have to be disabled before cancer can occur.
In brief, that’s the theory of cancer that’s held sway most of the time since President Richard Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971. The “war” currently spends an estimated $15 billion a year on scientific research, when you add up all sources public and private (no one knows the exact figure). Over the years hundreds of billions of dollars have been poured into the effort.
Most of the money has been wasted digging a dry hole. The DNA theory is mistaken, and as a result almost no progress has been made in cancer treatment. But despite the obvious failure, all the money flows into “advancing” this mistaken theory and all the scientific prestige and news stories flow out of it. Scientists, like most people, dream of becoming famous, and a discovery related to gene research is the fastest way for a cancer scientist to get his 15 minutes of media attention.
As far as that goes, a scientist can’t even get a grant to conduct research in the first place if the proposed project isn’t an offshoot of the DNA theory.
The DNA theory has had other harmful effects. It’s led to a public obsession, encouraged by the medical profession, with the idea that you can inherit a tendency to get cancer from your parents. This belief has a particular grip on the breast cancer industry because there is, in fact, a gene that increases a woman’s risk of this disease. But very few women possess this gene and it accounts for a small percentage of breast cancer cases.
But the theory that “your ancestors did this to you” doesn’t stop with breast cancer. It seems that several times a year the news media take up some discovery that this or that inherited gene can predispose a person to this or that cancer. It’s mostly a tempest in a teapot because inherited gene mutations account for maybe one out of ten cancers. I think, when all the facts are in, the figure will be even lower.
And generally the dreaded gene mutations merely contribute to cancer, they aren’t a death sentence. Many people who have them don’t get cancer.
To make things worse, it’s now possible to have your genome sequenced for a few hundred dollars, so everyone can get in on the act of worrying over gene mutations.
I’m all in favor of learning about genetic biology. It’s exciting, cutting edge science. But it hasn’t led to much progress in the war against cancer because genes are not the enemy.
And now, what really causes cancer
Dr. Seyfried exposes the failure of the DNA theory and reveals the true cause of cancer. He was formerly a cancer researcher at Yale University, is currently a full professor of biology at Boston College, and is the author of more than 150 PubMed-indexed scientific articles. He doesn’t advocate or practice alternative medicine. As far as I can gather, he doesn’t have much interest in it. He’s “just” an unbiased scientist seeking the truth, wherever it may lead.
What he’s found is that cancer is caused by damaged mitochondria, not damaged DNA. Mitochondria are sometimes called the cell’s batteries or energy factories. They are delicate, complicated pieces of cell machinery that convert the foods we eat – fats, proteins and carbohydrates – into horsepower that enables us to move, breathe, think – to do everything we do.
In some ways, a car engine might be a better analogy than a battery. Your food is like gasoline in a car. It makes the car move – but how? By way of an engine that converts gasoline into energy, similar to the way mitochondria convert food molecules into energy.
Healthy mitochondria break open food molecules and use their electrons – their electrical energy – to create ATP molecules that store the energy until the cell needs it to do something. At the end of the ATP assembly line that exists inside a mitochondrion, oxygen waits to bind with the electrons to form water, a harmless byproduct of this energy production process.
The process is called oxidative phosphorylation or simply respiration. Respiration is the process by which a healthy cell generates energy.
As Dr. Seyfried demonstrates in his book – almost beyond doubt – the fundamental difference between a healthy cell and a cancer cell is the way they make energy.
In other words, cancer is not a genetic disease, it’s a mitochondrial disease.
Cancer cells are different: They make energy by fermentation, not respiration. In this process, the mitochondria turn glucose i.e. sugar (mainly from carbohydrates) into small quantities of energy.
Can a cancer cell live on anything else besides carbs? Yes, to some degree. The mitochondria can ferment certain parts of proteins (specifically an amino acid called glutamine), but it can’t ferment fats at all. Carbohydrates and especially sugar are the foods cancer needs to feed on.
Fermentation is a primitive, fallback process for generating energy that the mitochondria will use only when they’re damaged and unable to perform respiration – or when there’s a temporary lack of oxygen, a key component in the normal respiration process.
Here’s a neat fact: deep sea diving mammals like whales generate energy by respiration – using oxygen – when they’re on the surface. But when they’re under water for long period they generate energy by fermentation. As I said, it’s a backup energy generator.
No cell that’s working right would ever fall back on fermentation when oxygen is available. Fermentation is inefficient. It doesn’t produce nearly as much energy and creates toxic byproducts – lactic acid and ammonia.
Cancer cells are different – they’re sick – not because their DNA is damaged but because they use fermentation even when plenty of oxygen is around. That’s what Dr. Seyfried means when he posits that cancer is a metabolic disease rather than a genetic disease.
Why do good mitochondria go bad?
So what is it that causes the mitochondria in healthy cells to go haywire and resort to the second-rate fermentation process? According to Dr. Seyfried, the most likely source of the damage is the same list of carcinogens we’re all familiar with – tobacco smoking, radiation, toxic chemicals, viruses… the usual suspects.
The respiration “machinery” inside the mitochondria is just as delicate as the famous DNA double helix inside the cells’ nucleus. When it’s disabled, the cell may die, but some cells are able to fall back on fermentation and stay alive. Cells that turn permanently to fermentation become chronically inflamed and flooded with toxic lactic acid.
But these damaged – cancerous – cells are able to thrive and replicate as long as the patient provides them with an abundant supply of glucose. In essence, people who eat a carbohydrate-rich diet are making themselves fertile ground for cancer. If you deny them glucose, it’s a challenge for cancer cells to stay alive. Those that do survive can most likely be managed (i.e. eliminated) by your immune system.
So what’s the proof?
Dr. Seyfried’s book cites over a thousand scientific references. All I’ve given you is a quick gloss of what he has to say. But his most telling piece of proof is easy to explain and understand.
When mitochondria from cancer cells are fused with normal cells – those with healthy DNA in their nuclei – and then injected into animals, 97% of them develop tumors. In other words, cancerous mitochondria turn healthy cells into cancer cells. No genetic damage needed. DNA didn’t cause these cancers.
And the process works in reverse: If you transfer mitochondria from healthy cells into tumor cells, it reduces cancerous behavior and reduces tumor formation.
He cites other research showing that if you transplant a nucleus containing mutations from a cancer cell into a normal cell from which the nucleus has been removed, the process does not produce cancer cells. But if you put a normal nucleus into a cancer cell, the cell remains cancerous and can generate tumors.
Case closed. There’s no question about it: When it comes to cancer, damaged mitochondria are in the driver’s seat, not damaged DNA.
“But wait,” you might say, if you know anything about mainstream cancer research. “The DNA in cancer cells is loaded with mutations. How can it be that DNA damage has nothing to do with cancer?”
The most likely explanation is that most of the damage to DNA comes AFTER the damage to mitochondria, when the cell is sick and the fermentation process is bombarding the nucleus with massive amounts of toxic fermentation byproducts.
What all this means if you want
to beat cancer or avoid it
All of this may sound simple the way I just described it, but it has far-reaching implications. And it has eluded our multi-billion-dollar scientific establishment for 50 years even while alternative doctors have tried to point them in the right direction.
I have never proposed changing the way you eat as a standalone cure for cancer, and Dr. Seyfried certainly doesn’t. But if you have cancer it’s imperative to stop eating all sugar, in any form, as well as refined carbohydrates like flour and other high-glycemic foods like potatoes and rice. You can thereby starve cancer cells of glucose, the food they need to live.
On the other hand you can eat all the fats you want. Here Dr. Seyfried and I part company on the types of fats that are best. He seems to think that fat is fat and you can eat any kind you want. I recommend healthy fats like olive oil, nuts (preferably raw), coconut oil and avocado. Dr. Seyfried recommends about 80% fats, 20% protein and a very small amount of carbohydrates.
Personally, I think you can get your protein from meat (organic), but I’m probably in a minority on that.
The last point I want to make for now is that if you have high blood sugar it’s imperative to get it under control now – and not with drugs or even natural treatments but by cutting sugar and other carbs to practically nothing.
I will have more to say about this “cancer revolution” in the next issue. It’s a big, important topic. If you’ve delved deeply into alternative cancer medicine, you will have noticed that Dr. Seyfried’s theory resembles that of Dr. Otto H. Warburg, which has been around for nearly a hundred years. But there are important differences, and some good reasons why Dr. Warburg’s theory couldn’t be accepted as proven fact – until now. There’s also a great deal more to say about what a cancer patient should eat, and why the fancy new targeted chemotherapy drugs are disastrously off the mark.
Lee Euler, Publisher